Video game addiction to be listed as mental health disorder in 2018

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HOUSTON— If you can't control how long you're playing video games, it could be a mental health problem. The World Health Organization is now recognizing excessive gaming as a mental health disorder.

In short, it means someone is addicted to video games, prioritizing playing over other important areas of their life. To be diagnosed the behavior must last at least a year.

"It's a distraction, an easy distraction. It takes less effort to turn on a computer than go outside and interact," Sid Rewari, a former gamer said.

Rewari added he had friends that were failing school because of video game addiction.

In its current draft of the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the WHO defines the disorder as a recurring behavior pattern that significantly impairs a person's personal, social and work life. In other words, obsessively playing video games can be addicting as gamers get wrapped up in alternate realities.

Bobbie Fraiser, a mother and former school teacher, said her biggest concerns is that children can become obsessed with video games. Obsession can lead to other unhealthy habits, she said.

"It becomes obsessive. People will stop doing life in general. They'll just shell themselves in that and they don't go out or do anyting," Javi Barillas said.

But Barillas, who has been gaming for majority of his life, argues that not all gaming is bad or isolating. Sometimes, it does the exact opposite.

"The community that people create-- they can make friends or have a bunch of friends come over and play," Barillas said.

"It also depends what kind of game. Some games are educational and can help kids learn too," Frasier said.

Right now, WHO authorities said there is only a clinical description and no prevention or treatment options.

So gamers, get your fix today, because it's game over come 2018.

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